Maury Garcia’s one of the greatest bull riders in the world—and one of the biggest liars. Can he turn forbidden love with a rodeo rookie into a lasting romance?
Ever since his brother was killed because he was gay, Maury’s worked to take his brother’s place as the bull rider, the provider, and the ideal of his family’s macho expectations. The only thing Maury’s ever done for himself is buy a secret ranch so he can get away from the responsibilities he’s chained himself to. Then he meets Tristão Silva, the younger brother of the one man who could rob Maury of his bull riding championship.
Tristão may be a world-class bull rider in his own right, but his kind, gentle nature and sexy samba hips make Maury long for something beyond his selfless, sexless life. The two men’s lives are worlds apart, even if they’re both buckling under family expectations. Will their future last beyond an eight-second ride?
As they approached the pen, the big light red bull tossed his head.
The bull gazed at him and blinked. Bulls, and cows for that matter, could see nearly 360 degrees, but they could smell even better. They could pick up scents literally miles away. “Good to smell you, Peaches.”
He propped his arm on the fence and stared in at the bull, then rested there and watched every tiny toss of Peaches’s head, the way he walked to the fence and paced back restlessly, then stopped and gazed at Maury.
“How will you use that information when you ride him later?”
The voice was light, musical, and heavily accented, but the English was perfect. Every syllable traveled up Maury’s spine like a lesson in a brand-new language. Maury turned slowly. “I guess I’ll be ready for him.”
He smiled. Tristão Silva smiled back. That face Maury had thought was unique when he caught a glimpse of it in the bar set whole new records in fucking amazing. His cheeks were like those of some statue made out of marble, but his smile carved a row of crevices, like ripples on a pond. A milk pond. His eyes were dark, but shockingly, they weren’t brown. They were blue. Deep sapphire blue, and at that moment they were sparkling. He said, “Ah, but what is Peaches planning to do with the information he’s collected on you?”
For a second, Maury stared, but then he pulled off his Resistol, slapped it on his leg, and laughed so hard he practically fell into the dirt.
When Maury’d finally stopped howling, Tristão stuck out his hand. “Tristão Silva.”
“Maury Garcia.” He shook the guy’s hand, which was rough, callused, and tough like any bull rider’s. But warm. Really, really warm.
“Of course. I didn’t mean to interrupt your communion, but I’m a big fan, and I wanted to speak to you before my brother arrives. You know what an asshole he can be.” He grinned, and Maury laughed again.
Maury asked, “Did you go yet?”
Tristão shook his head, and the too-long-for-a-bull-rider black hair danced around his face. “Soon.”
“I’ll come and watch you.”
He touched the brim of his black hat. “I’d be honored.”
“If your brother sees me, I’ll tell him I’m scoping out the competition. He says I can’t beat you.”
Tristão snorted. “I’m sure he said you can’t even beat me.”
Maury quirked the corner of his mouth. “I might’ve heard that word tossed in.”
“Xesús is a great bull rider.”
The name sounded like “Zhayzus” when he said it. It also made his lips purse in an interesting way. Maury nodded. “Almost as good as he thinks he is.”
“So true.” Those deep eyes seemed to have some kind of buried lights in them, like escaped fireflies. “But then a man of little ego would never crawl on the back of a bull.”
He turned to leave, then glanced over his shoulder at Maury. “Sorry to have interrupted your meditation for my fanboy moment.” He ambled away. Do cowboys really walk that way? It was as if Tristão heard some music the rest of the world missed. The man was about to risk his life on a bull, and he barely looked worried. Yeah. Young and stupid… and beautiful.
Tara Lain believes in happy ever afters – and magic. Same thing. In fact, she says, she doesn’t believe, she knows. Tara shares this passion in her best-selling stories that star her unique, charismatic heroes — the beautiful boys of romance — and adventurous heroines. Quarterbacks and cops, werewolves and witches, blue collar or billionaires, Tara’s characters, readers say, love deeply, resolve seemingly insurmountable differences, and ultimately live their lives authentically. After many years living in southern California, Tara, her soulmate honey and her soulmate dog decided they wanted less cars and more trees, prompting a move to Ashland, Oregon where Tara’s creating new stories and loving living in a small town with big culture. Likely a Gryffindor but possessed of Parseltongue, Tara loves animals of all kinds, diversity, open minds, coconut crunch ice cream from Zoeys, and her readers. She also loves to hear from you.